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Council Grants give real boost for local communities

Councillor John Paul Feeley has welcomed the allocation of funds to communities across the Cavan-Belturbet Municipal District under the Discretionary Grants Scheme 2020 and the Community & Voluntary Scheme.
‘Local community groups, on a voluntary basis are taking on challenging project to better their local communities. These funds are sometimes a lever to drawing down other grants on significant projects under LEADER or taking on a project that if not done would fall to the County Council’
‘Often the huge work done by local communities is taken for granted, these grants are a small acknowledgement by the Council of that work. It is great to see projects develop as they have been progressed on a phased basis over recent years.’
The 2020 Grants are as follows
Killinagh Community Council €8,000 Progress replacement of boundaries on Florencecourt Road, Blacklion.
Swanlinbar Community Hall €5,000. Upgrade kitchen facilities in St. Mary’s Hall
Swanlinbar Development Association €5,000 Match Funding for LEADER funded Trivia House Hostel Plan
Project Belturbet €8,000 Further development of Sensory Garden and link to Turbet Island Trail
Killeshandra Community Council €3,500 Match funding for LEADER to develop Visitors Centre & Community Cafe
Killeshandra Community Council €3,500 Upgrade heating at Resource Centre & Play-school Unit
Kilnavara Crescent Residents Association €3,000 to provide seating area, defibrillator, complete drainage works, fencing and signage
Cavan Tidy Towns €3,000 to improve all on Broad Road near Breifne Park
Killygarry Gun Club €3,000 to purchase 2 new clay target traps and other equipment
Tullacmongan Resource Centre €8,000 upgrade the play area including, roof repairs, re-line car parking spaces
Lakeview Residents Association €3,000 new entrance signage, walls & other works
Bawnboy Workhouse Ltd €3,000 match funding for LEADER project
Templeport Development Association €5,000 provide fencing at recycling centre.
The Cottage Market, Ballyconnell €4,000 to acquire storage container, commercial Gazebo and other works. Community & Voluntary Grants
Killinagh Community Dev Ltd €400 replace planting & other works around Village of Blacklion
Dowra Courthouse Group €400 purchase coffee maker, table & other items
Butlersbridge Tidy Towns €400 specific & targeted planting of areas around village
Project Belturbet €500 display case & replica Mott & Bailey for Civic Centre
Swanlinbar Community Assoc €400 purchase fitness equipment for community
Marian Park Res. Belturbet €400 painting, flower pots & other works
Killeshandra Day-Care €400 purchase blinds for meeting in Resource Centre
Killeshandra Community €400 purchase materials for Sketch Series Tidy Towns
Kilnavara Crescent Residents €400 purchase a shed & storage space at polytunnels
Killgarry Foroige €400 purchase equipment for club members
Drum glen Resident Assoc €400 install raised beds with youth in Estate
Belturbet Arts & Crafts Group €300 purchase of art equipment
Cavan Boxing Club €400 purchase new equipment
Cottage Market, Ballyconnell €250 purchase materials
Indian Cultural Arts Club €400 purchase equipment for Dance Club
Cavan 365 Youth Group €400 complete inclusion mural wall in Tullacmongan Resource Centre
Happy Time Cavan €400 equipment for group in Bridge Street Centre, Cavan Patent & Toddler Group

Student Job Scheme needed for Third Level Students

Cavan-Belturbet MD Councillor, John Paul Feeley proposed the creation of a Summer Work Scheme for Third Level Students to provide an opportunity for those currently attending or those likely to be attending third level in the coming year for the first time.
‘I am acutely aware fo the cost of third level education for students and their families. As a result of the Covid-19 crisis the opportunities available to students to get part-time work are virtually non-existent. The option to travel for work is gone and the hospitality sector will sadly struggle to maintain their basic staff numbers for the foreseeable future. In the past we had a Summer Jobs Scheme and I believe this year it should be brought back, it can be a ‘win-win’ for the participants and for the local community which could see roles taken on in their areas for a few months by those taken on by the Scheme.’
‘Levels of unemployment in the cohort of people under 24 are at an all-time high. Those returning to college will still face Registration Fees, accommodation costs and all that goes with it. The re-introduction of a Summer Job type scheme could help in some small way to address the challenge faced.’
‘I am pleased that my motion got all-party support and hope that the new Minister for Social Protection and her colleagues take on the proposal.’

Minister McHugh & Cavan Monaghan ETB ignore the will of the people in closing Belturbet & Bawnboy Second Level Schools – Feeley

Fianna Fáil Councillor, John Paul Feeley has expressed his shock at the announcement by the Chief Executive of Cavan Monaghan ETB that the Minister for Education has approved the development of a new school to result in the closure of St. Bricin’s College, Bawnboy and St. Mogues’s College, Bawnboy.
“I am shocked that the Minister for Education & Skills, Joe McHugh TD has ignored the wishes of the people on the ground in relation to the proposal of Cavan Monaghan ETB to close two schools with resulting devastation for the catchment areas serviced by them. In the Local Election earlier this year, the views of the relevant communities were made clear. Despite clear opposition and the failure of the ETB to engage with the local community the ETB have pressed ahead with this ill-conceived proposal.’
‘Since the election the ETB Committee has effectively been non-existent. It appears that the Chief Executive of the ETB pressed ahead knowing that a newly constituted ETB would not be as favorable to the rushed and unconsidered proposal made by him last year and rammed down the throats of the Board, the staff and the wider community.’
‘Despite thousand of letters and emails and requests from Deputy Brendan Smith, Minister McHugh has been never made himself available to meet the local community groups. Instead he has bowed to the demands of ETB officials who have lost the veneer of democratic legitimacy since the old ETB board ceased to exist last May.’
‘It should be noted that the Ministers approval is to build a school on an unknown site, for which no designs are ready, no planning in place and most importantly no money allocated. This is simply a way for the ETB to avoid doing what it needs to do to invest in the two existing schools. At this stage Cavan Monaghan ETB need to convene and rescind its previous approval of this plan and get on with providing the children of the two catchment areas with the secondary education they deserve.’

CLÁR funding for Miltown NS of €50,000 welcome but Cavan underfunded -Feeley

Fianna Fáil Councillor, John Paul Feeley has welcomed the provision of €50,000 funding to complete work at the carpark on Miltown NS.
‘Having worked very closely with Keith Conefrey Principal and the School Board of Management I know the work to be done will be very useful, improving safety for those accessing the school and segregating vehicles and pedestrians.’
Noting that only six of the fifteen projects submitted by Cavan County Council to the Department of Rural Affairs Councillor Feeley stated that CLÀR funding is substantially down in 2019 over last year.
‘Almost fifty projects were submitted in 2019 to Cavan County Council who has to narrow it down to a maximum of fifteen for submission to the Department. Therefore Council officials familiar with the projects and aware of local need had already vetted this projects in a way that the Department could not.’
‘It is a huge disappointment for those projects that had got over the high bar set by the Council and which now have received no funding in 2019. Furthermore only one project was approved in the entire Cavan/Belturbet Electoral Area which is a massive disappointment. It would make one wonder as to what criteria is actually used in the Department.’
Finally, Councillor Feeley noted that normally CLÀR funding is announced in the early part of the summer to allow schools get work done during the summer holidays.
‘The announcement is months late. It is a a major challenge for the schools involved to get the work done when children are running around the playground and parents and buses bringing children to and from the schools involved.’
‘The late funding the cut in funding in 2019 would indicated that the same level of interest is not there from Government and perhaps Minister Ring and his colleagues are punishing Rural Ireland for the poor showing of Fine Gael in the Local Elections earlier this year.’
‘Last year a second round of funding assisted two projects over the initial thirteen announced by the Department. I call on Minister Ring and his Government colleagues to look again at CLÀR funding in 2019 and make a substantially better allocation to much needed projects in Rural Ireland.’
‘Either way the good work done by the unsuccessful applicants must head the queue for future funding.’